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Cambridgeshire ‘one of the least successful counties’ in finding jobs for adults with learning disabilities

Cambridgeshire almost 50 per cent worse than the national average in ensuring learning disability adults get paid work

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All political groups on Cambridgeshire County Council pledged to work together to help those with learning disabilities to find work. It came after Tory councillor Chris Boden raised the issue during a county council meeting.

He pointed out that that Cambridgeshire “is one of the least successful counties” across the country in supporting learning disability adults into employment.

Cllr Boden said the figures are measured nationally through the adult social care outcomes framework.

“And those figures show quite appallingly that in Cambridgeshire we’re almost 50 per cent worse than the national average in ensuring that individuals with learning disabilities get into paid employment,” he said.

As a result, Cambridgeshire is now “one of the worst in the county”.

Council leader Cllr Lucy Nethsingha (above) told Cllr Boden: “Yes I would be very willing to take up your challenge on working cross party to focus on our residents with learning disabilities and to try and improve our levels of getting those residents into work”.

Council leader Cllr Lucy Nethsingha (above) told Cllr Boden: “Yes I would be very willing to take up your challenge on working cross party to focus on our residents with learning disabilities and to try and improve our levels of getting those residents into work”.

Cllr Boden made his comments during the budget debate and said it was “entirely appropriate” that party political differences were on show.

But he added that there were “some elements of the spending, some elements of the budget which should honestly be beyond party politics where we should come together to work together to achieve good aims”.

He agreed with Labour’s leader Cllr Richard Howitt, chair of the adults and health committee, when he spoke earlier in the debate and pledged that the ruling alliance “would not walk away from its responsibilities for those who are disadvantaged”.

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Cllr Boden said he had spoken on many occasions about the problem of those adults with learning disabilities who are not in employment.

He invited council leader Lucy Nethsingha, in her summing up of the budget debate, that “she accepts from me an offer to work collaboratively across parties within the budget that we’ll have next year but to work collaboratively to see what we can do to enable us to get from one of the worst positions in the country to something which is significantly better for individuals with learning disabilities.

“Many individuals are unfortunately in that situation and aren’t able to work but many are and those who are able to work are willing to work and are unable to find work and their opportunities and their fulfilment is hampered by the failure to get work

“And as far as we’re concerned in this council with our budget, our budgetary pressures are greater when individuals who are capable of work aren’t working.

“We’ve got a financial incentive to do this but much more important we’ve got a moral responsibility to ensure as best we can that those individuals capable of work who have learning disabilities are able to get into work.

“So, I’m making that offer on a cross-party basis and would be very grateful if the leader of the council when she does sum up accepts that offer”.

Cllr Nethsingha told Cllr Boden: “Yes I would be very willing to take up your challenge on working cross party to focus on our residents with learning disabilities and to try and improve our levels of getting those residents into work.

“I am really glad of that contribution. I think that they are a group of our residents that don’t get enough attention and I don’t think you should ever apologize for raising them in subsequent meetings I think it’s really important.

“I have been reassured by Councillor Howitt that work has already started with officers on that, but I think a real cross-party focus on it would be a really constructive thing to do and a very constructive part of this meeting. So, thank you.”

 

 

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